How to Save Money on Groceries

Posted by Mrs Money on February 18th, 2011

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Mr. Money and I have very different views when it comes to grocery shopping.  He thinks it saves us more money on groceries when we stop by the grocery store every day and pick up the items we need to make dinner that night.  I think we save more money on groceries when we make a meal plan and go shopping once a week, or once every two weeks.  I know that I’m an impulse shopper and he sometimes is too, so I think it makes more sense if we limit our shopping trips.

Every Day Grocery Shopping

I will admit stopping at the grocery store every day can help save money on groceries.  Sometimes it feels like we buy produce and it goes bad before we eat it, so that’s money wasted.  If we went grocery shopping every day, that would not be an issue because we’d be buying the freshest ingredients for the meals that we want to make that day.  The down side?  The impulse shopping.  I’ve seen some of the receipts from when Mr. Money has stopped at the grocery store on his way home to pick up “a few items”.  Normally the receipts are $20 and include a Snickers bar or other candy bar.  While this doesn’t sound like too much, it totals $600 a month which is more than I want to spend on groceries.

Another nice thing about stopping at the store almost every day is that if you have a craving for a certain meal, you can pick up all the ingredients necessary to make that meal.

Grocery Shopping Once a Week

Meal planning is fabulous for me because it helps keep me organized.  It saves so much time because I can’t tell you how much time I spend during the day thinking about what I’m going to eat!  When I meal plan on Saturdays and go grocery shopping for the week, I spend less money and get everything necessary to make all the meals.  I also try to purchase ingredients that are multi purpose and can be used in different dishes.  Of course, if I need to pick up a few items during the week to supplement our menu, that’s not a big deal.  We generally have to pick up eggs during the week.

Like I said earlier, when we do the once a week or once every two week grocery shopping, sometimes we end up wasting food, which means we waste money.  I hate that.  A lot of the time I get a craving for something, and what I have planned for that night’s dinner just doesn’t sound good.  Sometimes we end up going out for dinner, which we all know costs more than going to the grocery store and cooking from scratch!

Overall, I think we save more money on groceries if we do the meal planning and just go shopping once a week.

How do you save money on groceries? Do you shop once a week, or are you one of the daily grocery shoppers like Mr. Money?

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6 Responses to “How to Save Money on Groceries”


  1. krupa says:

    I always plan at least 3 meals that have fresh ingredients and then count on the other 4 meals being made from stuff in the pantry or freezer or being a frozen pizza or frozen meal. I like this because if we choose to cook more meals with fresh ingredients I can make a quick stop for that meal and this prevents the amount of things that spoil. It also helps our budget because I’m not spending money on groceries and then we are deciding to go out to eat.

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  2. Becky R says:

    I think if you can not add impulse purchases then it doesn’t matter. If you have say $300 a month and shop every day and spend $10 or once a month and spend $300 it is equal. But if you add extras going more often will cost more.

    I have $400 a month for food (which ahs to include all the ingredients for my homemade cleaning supplies.) This is for family of 1 adult and 2 growing boys (ages 13 and 7.)

    I usually go every two weeks and spend $200 each time. This works well as I can buy milk, eggs, and produce that last for two weeks.

    This month I thought to save time I would try the go once a month.

    At that trip I spent almost the entire $400, but it has not lasted the entire month and I have been back to teh store 3 times (going over budget this month.)

    So I am going back to every two weeks with my $200 cash.

    I enjoy reading your blog!

    -Becky in NJ

    [Reply]

  3. Maggie says:

    I have started planning meals for a month. With 2 boys active in extracurricular activities, and who knows who will be home first. If I have a written plan, Hubby or a teen is often willing to start dinner before I get home and prevents them from hitting the drive thru. I do a monthly shop at Costco and then budget $50 each week for milk, eggs, and produce and ice cream.

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  4. Ginger says:

    I save money by using coupons and cherry picking the deals, and having one or two stores I go to for the basics. I normally shop two or three times a week.

    [Reply]


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